Sunday, February 08, 2009
Several of the very nice people in Rhett's course have offered to babysit for us and on Saturday night we decided to take one of them up on their offer and go out on a date. Rhett made reservations at one of the nicest restaurants in the city, Astrid y Gaston, and we looked forward to some quiet time together for a few hours. I haven't had more than a few minutes to myself in the shower (and not even then most of the time) and Rhett and I have had even fewer minutes for just the two of us since we got here so this was going to be big treat.
I got dressed in a cute dress (thanks to my sister in law Tish for the cutest maternity wardrobe in this hemisphere) and actually did not wear flip flops for the first time since we got here! We then walked across the street where Rhett bought me the beautiful calla lily bouquet pictured above (for about $2!). We made our way to the Miraflores circle area and walked around for a while talking before going to the restaurant.
The ambiance in the restaurant was just fantastic. I was hoping there would be some pictures on their website so I could share them since I forgot my camera (I didn't really want to be all touristy snapping pictures all around a nice place anyway but it would be nice to have a picture of us at some point). Anyway, it was really modern but set in a an old building which gave it an even cooler feeling. The food was amazing . . . we started out with some various breads and crackers that were served with two different sauces and some butter. One sauce was kind of spicy in a good way and the other one was sort of a pesto sauce that had a flavor that my taste buds have never quite experienced before. It was great. Don't you love that? You kind of think you've tasted all the tastes out there then all of a sudden out of nowhere there is a completely different taste! What fun!
It took forever for us to read the menu because it was all in Spanish and our waiter didn't speak English. Obviously we could make out the main words and some that I would prefer to avoid like rabbit, duck and a few others. Rhett wanted to try ceviche so his decision was pretty easy since he could just choose from that section. I was a little more deliberate (and didn't want to go the ceviche route since I'm preggo) but I didn't want to NOT like what I got at this nice place! I finally saw what I thought looked good - jumbo shrimp and swordfish (I was concerned that swordfish was on the preggo "no" list but couldn't recall at the moment - I only ate half and gave the rest to Rhett just in case :) Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself . . . we decided to go with a traditional Peruvian appetizer (when in Rome, right?) called cuy also known as guinea pig! Luckily skewered rodents didn't arrive at our table but rather it was served in small strips that were braised. Then you took a small blue crepe added a sweet sauce and some shredded vegetables and a piece of cuy rolled up like a burrito and there you go! It was actually very, very good. The one word I used to describe it was "rich" and no it did not taste like chicken. So if you ever get a chance to try cuy go for it you might really like it.
Rhett sipped on a Pisco sour while we waited for our dinners to arrive. I think Rhett was glad he tried the ceviche but isn't a huge fan. Mine was out of this world good. The jumbo shrimp where so big I had to but them in 4 piece to eat each one. The flavors were all new and wonderful and I enjoyed it so much. We didn't even have room for dessert (I think the guinea pig filled us up) but they gave us each a glazed gooseberry (which was awesome - who knew gooseberries were so good?) and a chocolate truffle which was just enough.
What a wonderful evening. We had great food, great conversation and enjoyed some of Lima that we haven't been able to yet. We are certainly going to take up everyone on their babysitting offers. Did I mention that our culinary experience at Astrid y Gaston set us back about what a night at Outback Steakhouse might at home? Now that is a sweet meal!